Derek: Welcome back, Mark! The holiday season is hitting its stride, and that means one thing: our thoughts turn to the awful hair that grows unceasingly from the male face. It looks like the ol’ Chinfest is going literal this time as we review Harry’s Razors. Are you familiar with Harry’s, Mark?
Mark: Of course. Those are the guys that bought a German factory and had it shipped over brick-by-brick so they could employ American workers, right? Good to see the promise of renewed American manufacturing being fulfilled—nobody makes things that cut and slice quite like us Americans!
Derek: Something like that, I’m sure! Anyhoo, I thought it might be fun to test out some of their fine products and review them. We’ve reviewed one movie already, so it’s probably time to expand our horizons.
Mark: Or is it stuff that blows up good that Americans make best? Well, it’s stuff that kills efficiently, at any rate. And I can’t wait to try out Harry’s Truman Set, which includes an ergonomic handle, two blade cartridges, and Harry’s own shave gel. I got the handle in olive green—one of four available colors—because it seems like the sturdiest choice, and I plan to use my razor a lot. Also, I am interested in the allusion to Harry Truman, the only human in history to authorize the use of nuclear weapons, and he was also known to shave, I believe.
Derek: For those not familiar with Harry’s, it’s one of the growing number of direct-to-consumer producers that have emerged in the last few years that offer everything from cosmetics to mattresses to clothing. Companies marketing basic products to men seem to be prominent, something that I suppose stems from the notion that men hate shopping in actual stores for things they don’t like to buy but have to. Like underwear. According to prevailing social norms, I need it, but I hate buying it. I certainly don’t like going somewhere just to purchase it, and honestly, I’d rather wear the same underwear for a decade or more. You can take the unpluralized “underwear” however you want—the point is, I don’t like to buy it.
Razors are probably the same way for a lot of men. I certainly don’t spend much time thinking about it. I last bought razors two years ago when I got an entire crate of Schick Hydro 5 blades for $6 at CostCo. I was down to the last cartridge, so I figured I either had to go to CostCo again or order something off the Internet. And since those were the only options I could think of, and going to CostCo is right below “owning parrots” on my list of things I really don’t want, I tried the Internet.
Mark: Speaking of the Internet, I’m looking at Harry’s website right now, and it looks like that factory is still in Germany. I’m a little disappointed, but if there’s anyone better than America at fashioning implements of death, it’s those crafty Germans. Or, as they say in ol’ Deutschland, the ausgekocht Germans! Even their language is designed to bludgeon one into submission.
What I’m really looking forward to here, though, is a close shave for a decent price, and I have to say that the price, at least, looks pretty good: $15 for the Truman Set with free shipping. I think we should get started on our test!
Derek: I agree! As you know, Mark, I’m a stickler for an authentic and controlled testing environment. And I’m taking Harry’s woolly mammoth logo seriously—it implies that their product represents a manly, natural process for shaving with German steel, just like our Paleolithic forebears used. Since I don’t have a cave or animal-skin shelter handy, I’m using the next best thing for our trial: a bench in my backyard. I figure this is a pretty good approximation of the male shaving experience through history.
So I’ll be living here for the next five days, shaving every morning with my Truman model razor, my Harry’s shave gel, and my will to survive.
Oh, and before we proceed, just a production note: readers will be able to track our shaving progress with the handy photos we’ve provided. You’ve got a healthy face-full of hair, Mark, so I’ll be interested to see what Harry’s can do for you.
Mark: One of my favorite photos! Let’s go!
Mark: I just want to open by commenting on the Harry’s shave gel, which I loved. It has a refreshing yet masculine scent—notes of leather and musk, and I think there’s a just a hint of cast iron in there too. So, really manly. But the best thing is the coverage. A lot of shave creams and gels just simply don’t provide you with the volume you need, and you spend a lot of money just on the shaving medium—that’s a frequently overlooked cost. I sometimes go through six to eight cans a month. It’s only been one day, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a full week out of this, which is a pleasant surprise!
Derek: Wow. That’s a lot of shave gel. I don’t think I’m going to use quite that much, but I just realized that I don’t have any hot water out on this bench. Or a mirror. That’s going to be a challenge, but I guess that our ancestors probably had to go by feel too, so if they could do it, I can do it too.
Have I mentioned how glad I am that I purchased the orange Truman handle? As you can see from the photo, it’s got a nice shape to it, it’s grippy in all the right ways, and it doubles as a highly visible safety signal—I’m pretty confident that any hunters out here won’t mistake me for a deer and shoot me full of lead as long as I’m holding my Truman handle!
Mark: That’s an excellent point: who wants to get shot while they’re shaving? Certainly not me, and that’s why I’m pretty pleased with the olive handle, which allows me to shave stealthily in a number of environments. I’m hopeful that Harry’s will add a matte black or digital camo version so I can shave without being spotted by my enemies. Looking forward to tomorrow’s shave!
Derek: Well, it got pretty cold last night, so I ended up eating a significant part of my rations just to keep my body temperature up. I haven’t quite gotten around to shaving yet because the bucket of water I planned on using still has a layer of ice floating on top. I’m hoping the sun will warm it up a little before I get going on today’s shave, but the clouds are looking kind of ominous. How’s it going for you today?
Mark: Fantastic. I am very pleased with the performance of Harry’s set up. The handle doesn’t slip, and it’s wonderfully balanced; it allows me to hit all those hard-to-reach and weirdly angled shave zones. And their five-blade design flows smoothly over curves—I’ve yet to nick myself, and the stroke feels beautifully close—“stroke” is a shaving term, incidentally. Did you know that there are Internet communities completely devoted to discussing shaving? Anyway, I’ll be interested to see how the “action” holds up over a number of shaves. And hey, turns out that those are also terms used when discussing firearms. Really interesting!
On the other hand, the lubricating strip seems superfluous, and I’ve never really believed that those things make a difference. I assume that this has just become an industry expectation, like picatinny rails or laser sights. That said, you never know when one of those things will come in handy in a scrap, so it’s good to have it available.
Derek: Agreed. I’m a little confused, though. Today’s photo looks an awful lot like yesterday’s, but maybe I’m just not thinking too clearly. I’ll blame it on low blood sugar and near hypothermia.
Mark: I do like that photo.
Mark: Just finished my shave, and I have to say that these Harry’s blades have really sped up the process. Just two hours today!
Derek: Two hours? But your photo shows a full beard—this is not making much sense to me.
Mark: I’m going to use that photo for everything now [strokes beard lovingly]. But that’s hardly the full picture. HAHAHAHA. Let’s forget about aesthetics for a minute and talk about the more practical benefits of Harry’s Razors. I went for a swim in the hotel’s pool, and I swear I could swim faster than I ever have in my life. And I’m 46!
Derek: Hotel? You’re staying in a hotel?
Mark: Kimpton Suites. It’s lovely. Actually, we should do a review of that.
Derek: I’m stunned that you are in a hotel. Stunned. And cold. And hungry. And I think dehydration is setting in.
Except for my face, which has benefitted tangibly from the moisturizing qualities of Harry’s Shave Gel, which I applied to stave off frostbite. It’s worked well so far, and I’m pretty sure the aloe vera and cucumber extracts are keeping my skin smooth and supple despite not having shaved yet.
Furthermore,the blade cartridges are well-made, and I’m having a little trouble cracking them open to get at the blades themselves, which use a “gothic arch” grind for the perfect balance of sharpness and strength. I think that once I get them out I’ll be able to strike them against this large piece of flint that I stepped on in the dark. I’m optimistic that I can get a fire started tonight, but with the sprained ankle, it will be a challenge to gather a sufficient amount of firewood. And I think building a standard A-Frame shelter is out of the question right now.
It’s starting to snow a little, which is concerning. I’m hoping that if things turn for the worst, someone will find this notebook and give it to my family.
Hold that thought. I think the coyotes are back.
Mark: Wow! This review is getting exciting!
Mark: Now that we’re almost through with our test run, I think we need to talk about the subscription service that Harry’s offers. I have been overjoyed with the entire shaving experience so far, but the Truman set only comes with three cartridges. As much as I want to recommend this company, that’s pretty stingy for four days—you’d think that Harry’s would provide enough to get through an entire ordering cycle. That’s about seven days from online order to doorstep, so anything under seven cartridges is simply inadequate. Fortunately, Harry’s can deliver blades and sundries on a regular basis to keep me well-groomed. I do like sundries.
Derek: What the hell are you talking about? You’ve used three cartridges in four days? How is that even possible? Your photo looks exactly like it did on the first day!
Mark: It is a good photo, isn’t it?
Derek: Did you know that if forced to drink your own urine, you should do it while it’s still warm? Once it’s cold, you can really taste the nitrogen. I should write that down because I don’t think that I’ll remember that, and it seems very, very important that I remember everything. Remember, Derek. Remember.
Mark: Everything ok?
Derek: It’s a funny thing. I always thought that ants hibernated or something, but the snow doesn’t seem to deter them, and I can’t keep them out of my clothes. There are so, so many of them.
Am I going mad, Mark?
Mark: Last day of our test run! I have to say that I’ve been impressed—even amazed—by the quality shaves I have gotten out my Harry’s razors. I would have no problem recommending their products to all of my shaving friends!
Derek: [emerges from snow cave] No one must ever know the extremes to which I have gone to survive—I have plumbed the lowest depths of human experience these five days. I have begged for my life. I have eaten things no man should put in his belly. I have slain my fellow creatures and used their lifeless bodies to keep my own warm and breathing.
But this is a triumph over nature and over self! I can call myself brother to the bear and to the wolf. Especially that wolf right there. His name is Wallace, and we are inextricably linked by what we shared in the nights on this desolate waste.
I too will recommend Harry’s to my friends, for without the versatile ergonomic handle and biting edge of man-forged steel, I would not be writing this review of Harry’s fine grooming products!
I have to say, Mark, that I have questions about your photo. It hasn’t changed one bit.
Mark: Definitely my favorite photo. I think my beard looks particularly full and lush, don’t you? Maybe it’s just the light, but I could look at this all day.
Derek: Your beard does, indeed, look full and lush. Why is that, exactly? Why didn’t you take a fresh photo each day to show your progress?
Mark: Well, this one’s so nice, and I thought it was pretty clear from my descriptions how good the shaves have been. Anyway, I haven’t been swimming again, if that’s what you mean.
Derek: What? No, that’s not what I mean. Do you actually know how shaving works?
Mark: Of course I do. In fact, I like to think I’m pretty good at it.
Derek: What’s with the beard then?
Mark: Why would I shave my beard? It’s an important part of my identity. I’ll have this until I die. [strokes beard reassuringly]
Derek: Oh. So, umm, you’ve been shaving…
Mark: Yep. Everything else.
Derek: Now that’s a good shave. And you are quite thorough, aren’t you?
I guess it’s time for our final judgement because I’ve got to get some toes removed before the gangrene gets a head of steam, so to speak.
Based on my harrowing adventures and the general field-worthiness of my Harry’s Truman Set, I’m going to give it 6 out of 7 owls, which is the total number of owls I managed to defeat on Night 3. I now wear their corpses to honor their courage and so I can absorb their strength as I hunt down the one that escaped.
How about you?
Mark: I give Harry’s Razors 5 out of 5 Speedos. Not only have I found my razor for life, but I’ve decided to enter the Olympic trials.